Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future

2017 Annual Meeting | Oct. 22-25 | Tampa, FL

361-1 Climate-Smart Agriculture: How Modified Crop/Water Management Under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Can Contribute to More Climate-Resilience and Higher Factor Productivity.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Climatology and Modeling
See more from this Session: Crop Water Management By Plant or Soil Water Sensors

Wednesday, October 25, 2017: 9:35 AM
Marriott Tampa Waterside, Room 1

Amod Kumar Thakur, ICAR - Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, INDIA and Norman Uphoff, SRI-Rice, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Although there has been controversy over some of the high yields reported with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an agro-ecological crop/water management system developed in Madagascar, measurable improvements in plant phenotype and substantial increases in average yields have been reported from >50 countries when these methods have been used, not even necessarily fully. Most attention to date has focused on yield effects, with little assessment of whether SRI methods can help farmers adapt to and buffer the adverse stresses of climate change and reduce their rice paddies’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which contribute to global warming. According to FAO criteria, achieving all three impacts would qualify SRI as ‘climate-smart agriculture’.

This paper discusses the extent to which, and how, certain modifications in agronomic practices -- plant, soil, water and nutrient management (timing, spacing, etc.) -- can elicit from a given rice genotype plant phenotypes that are more robust and adaptive, more resistant and resilient to adverse climatic conditions, as well as more productive. These effects appear to result from SRI practices inducing larger, healthier root systems and enhancing the soil biota which are beneficial in the rhizosphere, phyllosphere, and endophytically. Controlled trials and systematic measurement have documented these effects as improving more than a dozen morphological and physiological characteristics in rice plants.

Cross-national meta-analysis has documented that these methods reduce crop water requirements and increase water productivity, both critical under water-constrained production conditions. These methods are seen to contribute also to greater drought-tolerance, resistance to storm damage, cold-temperature hardiness, shortened crop cycles that reduce crops’ exposure to biotic and abiotic stresses, less susceptibility to insect pest and disease damage, and diminished net GHG emissions. The efficacy of SRI management methods is increasingly accepted by governments, donor agencies and farmers, but more remains to be researched and evaluated.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Climatology and Modeling
See more from this Session: Crop Water Management By Plant or Soil Water Sensors

Previous Abstract | Next Abstract >>